How to Set Up and Use Philips Hue Bulbs

Philips has been perfecting their Hue bulbs over the years. Bugs are becoming less and less prevalent, and more features are being added in – even via over-the-air updates. This makes it a perfect time to pick up a starter kit. But how do you set up and use Philips Hue?

Download the Hue App


After unboxing your Philips Hue kit you will have to install the Philips Hue app on your Android or iOS device before you can get set up.

Powering Up


Screw the bulbs into the sockets of your preference, and make sure that the power is on. The bulbs will light up if power is being supplied.

Connecting the Bridge to Your Router

“The Bridge” is the brains of Philips Hue that must be connected to a WiFi router. Because of this, the Hue bulbs cannot stand alone. All requests sent from your smartphone or tablet are sent through the Bridge and then to the Philips Hue bulbs and other smart home accessories.

Plug the AC adapter into a socket and plug the other end into the bridge. Next, use the included Ethernet cable to connect the Bridge to the back of your WiFi router. If your router is in a place of interference or low signal, your hue bulbs may become less reliable. It is best to place the router and the Bridge in an open area away from walls.

Once the Bridge is connected, it will automatically power up. The three indicator lights will illuminate blue.

Launching the App and Getting Set Up

When the app is launched for the first time, after a few moments your Hue Bridge will appear. Tap “set up” and then press the large pair button on the Bridge. The loading bar will take a moment to progress as the connection is verified. Once this is done, accept the terms and conditions before continuing.

That’s it! Your lights are set to go. If you are on an iOS device, you can follow the on-screen prompts to set up your lights with Apple HomeKit. I personally prefer using the pre-installed Home app for this, though. Less bugs are present and the overall setup is more seamless. To set up the Philips Hue with Amazon Alexa, visit the “Smart Home” section within the Alexa App and follow the prompts.

Adjusting Colors, Themes, and Intensity

Part of what makes the Philips Hue such a great product is the ability to make custom themes, adjust intensity, and work with a virtually unlimited range of color choices.

On the Hue app’s main page, tap on the open space next to the room icon to view specific scenes.


You can choose a pre-made scene or mix your own based on a photo.


Use the slider to adjust the room’s brightness.


Tap the room icon to launch a pane where colors can be chosen, white temperature can be adjusted, and where “recipes” such as relax, read, concentrate, and energize can be selected. These are specific curated mixes of various color temperatures and intensities.




The Philips Hue color starter kit complete with the Bridge and three Hue color bulbs can be purchased here, if you do not happen to own one already. What are your thoughts on the Philips Hue kits, and Philips’ vision for the future of smart lighting? Leave us a comment below!

Corbin Telligman
Corbin Telligman

I'm a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.

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